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As an internationally recognized leading interpreter of contemporary and modern music, mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway brings versatility and compelling insight to stages worldwide. Her work has been praised by the New York Times for “penetrating clarity” and “considerable depth of expression” and by Opera News for her “adept musicianship and dramatic flair.”
Recent and upcoming: Past seasons highlights include a debut with Opera Philadelphia in Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You, Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2 with the Amernet Quartet at New Music New College, and her continued collaboration with Third Coast Percussion at the University of Chicago and the Miller Theater’s Portrait Series in New York. Ms. Calloway sang music of John Zorn at the Guggenheim Museum, JazzFest Sarajevo, and November Music in the Netherlands. Duo Cortona, Ms. Calloway’s duo, alongside violinist Ari Streisfeld, have appeared in concerts and residencies at the College of Charleston, New Music New College (FL), Southern Exposure (SC), East Carolina University, the University of Madison, and the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music. As a faculty member at the University of South Carolina, Ms. Calloway performed the Brahms Alto Rhapsody and Ravel’s Chansons Madécasses; Das Lied von der Erde with the Orlando Philharmonic; and was recently a soloist with the California Symphony featuring a program of Gabriela Lena Frank's La Centinela y la Paloma and Mahler Lieder. She continues her work at the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy) and Summer Arts with Juilliard (Switzerland). Current projects include: San Francisco Contemporary Music Players singing Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, Cabaret Songs and Jessie Montgomery's Lunar Songs.
On the concert stage, Ms. Calloway has appeared as soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Oratorio Society of New York in Carnegie Hall and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Omaha Symphony. She debuted with Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt, Germany, singing Alban Berg’s Der Wein under the auspices of Alte Oper with a national radio broadcast by Heissicher Rundfunk. She was presented in concert at the Kennedy Center in collaborations with the Amernet Quartet and Pro Musica Hebraica and the Jukebox New Music Series. Ms. Calloway has covered Thomas Adès’ Totentanz with the New York Philharmonic, and appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Series (Green Umbrella), Berkeley Symphony, San Francisco Girls’ Chorus, BAM Next Wave Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Cal Performances, Resonant Bodies Festival, SONiC Festival, Southern Exposure New Music Festival, and Lincoln Center Festival. Ms. Calloway has performed with Ensemble Signal, Alarm Will Sound, Talea, JACK Quartet, Ekmeles, American Composers’ Orchestra and Continuum. In addition, she has collaborated with today’s foremost composers including: Gabriela Lena Frank, Georg Friederich Haas, Unsuk Chin, Oliver Knussen, Nico Muhly, Chris Cerrone, and Donnacha Dennehy.
Equally at home on the operatic stage, Ms. Calloway created the roles of “Dominant” and “Musicologist” in Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s The Classical Style (Zankel Hall, Ojai Festival) with Robert Spano conducting which brought recognition from the New York Times praising her singing as “rich-voiced.” Through this engagement she became a finalist for the internationally recognized Warner Music Prize. She has created many other roles including “Sister in the American premiere of Vasco Mendonça’s The House Taken Over at National Sawdust, “Asakir” in Mohammed Fairouz’s Sumeida’s Song in the inaugural PROTOTYPE Festival in New York, and “Memory 2” in Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You with Gotham Chamber Opera. She made her European operatic debut as Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw at Opéra de Reims, Athénée Théâtre Louis-Jovet (Paris) and Opéra de Lille. She has performed with the late Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival in Virginia, Tulsa Opera, Central City Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, and the Glimmerglass Festival.
Ms. Calloway holds degrees from The Juilliard School (BM) and Manhattan School of Music (MM). She joined the faculty of the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy) in 2014 and Summer Arts with Juilliard (Switzerland) in 2016. Ms. Calloway serves on the faculty of the University of South Carolina. She is a founding member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of lost and unknown Jewish art music. She can be heard on Albany Records, Tzadik Records, BCMF Records, and Toccata Classics.
More on Rachel Calloway at: www.rachelcalloway.com
Unsuk Chin, Composer Portrait, Miller Theater
"A selection of orchestral songs based on Lewis Carroll, and partly drawn from Ms. Chin’s opera, was the highlight of the concert, which otherwise felt oddly tentative. The dark-toned mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway gave a dramatically focused rendition of “snagS&Snarls,” a five-movement suite that roller-coasters through a dizzying variety of musical idioms and has much of the same dark humor and alluring weirdness as the film director Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland. ”The committed Ensemble Signal, conducted with clarity and verve by Brad Lubman, responded with admirable flexibility to the lurching changes in color...
— Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times 2014
Sumeida’s Song, PROTOTYPE FESTIVAL
“Mezzo aRachel Calloway has the adept musicianship and dramatic flair required for the demanding role of Asakir, and she controls the weight of her voice effectively, preventing even her most unhinged diatribes from becoming too strident.”
— Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News
Corridor, by Birtshistle and Stabat Mater by Nico Muhly
“Rachel Calloway, the soprano, sang with considerable depth of expression and very little vibrato, and gave superb accounts of both works.” — Allan Kozinn, New York Times